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The many charms of Cyprus make it a fantastic destination for hikers – the rugged terrain under glorious sunshine just beckons to be explored. Hiking gives you a great opportunity to interact with the best of the Cypriot outdoors. Tighten your hiking boots and let us take you through some of the best trails of Cyprus.
This being a circular trek, there are a number of starting points. Interact with nature and history while taking in the 13-km (8-mile) circular trail on the Troodos mountain range. From wild trees to fruits, the trail has a variety of vegetation including pine, strawberries, golden oak, cedar and wild rose, among others.
Stop at one of UNESCO World Heritage sites on the island, Anagia Tou Araka Church of Troodos, to rediscover Cyprus’s history. The magical views of Xyliatos Dam, a manmade feature, make a great postcard background.
The panoramic view of the Mesaoria Plains from the ranges is one of the best experiences. It is a great location to take stunning nature photographs. If you are lucky, you will spot a fox or wild hare in the shrubby vegetation.
Madari Circular Walk is of medium difficulty, with no sharp ascents or descents.
This calls for well-prepared and trained hikers due to its high level of difficulty. But not to worry, the hike is worth it.
The nature walk encompasses the following three unique trails surrounded by awe-inspiring views:
The Aphrodite trail (7.5 km (4.7 miles)) introduces you to the most stunning blue lagoons of the island. In spring, wild spring flowers blossom, transforming the fields into large coloured beds. With sweet fragrance in the air your nature walk will be an experience for the senses.
The walk will leave a lasting ‘keepsake’ of your holiday on the island. Although your body gets physically worn out, you will want to continue to the highest point of the trail for the breathtaking views.
The Adonis trail (7.5 km (4.7 miles)), on the other hand, is a walk into the ancient world. On this route you will run into the Queen’s Tower from the medieval period – Pyrgos tis Rigainas is what remains of an ancient monastery associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite. How about touching a 500-year old oak tree? The Adonis trail also hides some of Cyprus mammals, reptiles and birds.
Make sure you are well prepared to avoid injuries and accidents while traversing this rugged trail with sharp ascents and descents. Watch out for sharp drops when at the flat summit, as it can be dangerously steep.
The Smigies Trail is the shortest of the three (5 km (3.1 miles)), but it has a vast array of beautiful views from the views of the coastline of the Akamas peninsula to the west, to the views of Chrysochous bay to the east. It then winds into the dense Akamas forest, where if you’re fortunate enough, and enjoy bird watching, you can see migratory birds perching on the trees.
There are two routes to negotiate the Smigies Trail. The shortest will take you an hour, while the longest route is two hours.
For first time hikers, this trail provides you with simple yet rewarding challenges. The trail takes you around Mount Olympus, and starts and ends at the small car park at the foot of the mountain.
Shade seekers will enjoy this trail as you don’t stay under the sun for too long. From the open land, the trail winds into the woods, giving you a breathing space.
The bare land quickly gives way to vegetation such as Troodos sage, alyssum and barberry, and you can witness some fascinating geological features normally only seen in books, such as chromite pits and veins of pyroxenite and dunite.
In winter a ski lift is conveniently located on this trail for a perfect winter holiday experience.
The Beşparmak Trail is for the experienced hiker. To cover the 255 km (159 mile) trek, you will need six days.
The trek combines coastal and mountainous experiences. You can start your day at the coast, go up the mountain ranges to enjoy spectacular views of the valley, and ascend back to sea for an evening swim with the views of the mountains in the backdrop.
The trail will take you deep into the local village, Abbey of Bellapais, the ruin of a monastery that is nowadays commonly used as wedding grounds by locals and visitors. From the village, explore the crusader’s castles of St Hilarion and Kantara to interact with ancient architecture and mosaics.
If your kind of fun includes exploring early monasteries and churches, this trail is highly recommended. The ancient buildings are tucked in forests, giving you a chance to learn more about history while also stretching your legs. The trails are long but are easy to navigate. Be sure to wear comfortable boots, as the slopes can be dry underfoot.
This is one of the most dangerous treks in Cyprus – it boasts some of the most beautiful views, but is also a hideout for snakes, so be sure to wear suitable boots.
For those who love awe-inspiring experiences, St Georges Trail promises just that. The high grounds lack barriers and have steep drops, which can be dangerous. If this isn’t your kind of fun, pick an alternative from the above.